Victims of 'La Bestia' learn to walk again

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 23, 2019 - Duration: 02:42s

Victims of 'La Bestia' learn to walk again

Roni Osorio, a Honduran migrant, has learned to walk again after his left leg was ground off by “La Bestia,” or The Death Train, so named for the risks posed by traveling on it.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.


Victims of 'La Bestia' learn to walk again

Nearly a year after falling off a train hurtling through Mexico toward the U.S. border, 22-year-old Roni Osorio has learned to walk again.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT WHO INJURED HIMSELF ATOP OF LA BESTIA TRAIN, RONI OSORIO, SAYING: "I was at the top, since the train didn't have anywhere to rest in the carriages(boxcar?).

So I had to go up the carriage to sleep.

I fell EASILY." The Honduran migrant was twelve hours into his journey when he fell off the train.His left leg was ground off by 'La Bestia' or The Death Train, named so for the risks faced by riding it.

Reuters Delphine Schrank is on the story.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DELPHINE SCHRANK, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: "The people who end up taking the train are among the poorest of the very poor.

People who are already fleeing situations of desperate poverty or grave violence.

And they take the train because its free and they don't have to pay the bus fare, or for a car and they don't have to walk." The train, which carries products north, has helped legions of north-bound Central Americans flee but many, in their quest for safer lives, have suffered tragic injuries - like Luis Estardo.

The Guatemalan migrant was found 5 hours after his fall.

Now - under a special Red Cross program - the 21 year old is being fitted for a prosthetic leg.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) INJURED MIGRANT FROM GUATEMALA, LUIS ESTUARDO, SAYING: "It's really something that's very dangerous to do.

Thanks to God I just lost a leg but other companions who were with me on that day lost their lives." Since 2011, the Red Cross program has attended to 411 mutilated migrants, most of whom lost limbs, giving the few who were found in time a fresh lease on life.

And amid a crackdown on migrants in Mexico, the program is busier than ever.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DELPHINE SCHRANK, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: "The reality is that people will always take the freight train but right now because of increased crackdowns of migrants through Mexico - in part because of severe pressure from the U.S. Trump administration, many migrants are trying to run away from migration officials.

And so they're scrambling as the fastest way to get away." Back at the rehabilitation center in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Osorio is on his way to full recovery and hasn't lost sight of his goal.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT WHO INJURED HIMSELF ATOP OF LA BESTIA TRAIN, RONI OSORIO, SAYING: "God willing, I can finish with my therapy and when I'm ready, I will find work."

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